7 Old Wives’ Tales About Baby Gender
You can figure out your baby’s gender about 18 to 20 weeks into your pregnancy, but who wants to wait that long!?
If you’re excited to figure out if it’s a boy or a girl, you can have some fun finding out what superstitions say about your baby.
Although old wives’ tales aren’t generally accurate, many expecting mothers take joy in seeing which ones ring true for them.
In this post, we will share 7 baby gender superstitions to appease your imagination while you wait.
What’s an Old Wives’ Tale?
Old wives’ tales are traditional beliefs that are passed on by families throughout generations.
Before people could write their thoughts, they would share them through storytelling. Old wives’ tales can be tidbits of wise advice, claims or — in the case of baby gender predictors — superstitions.
It’s important to note that most of these gender superstitions are not backed up by science. They are simply fun tests or claims people use to get excited about their baby.
Even if all of the superstitions point to you having a boy or a girl, it’s still not advised that you begin buying clothing before the sex is determined by an ultrasound.
7 Old Wives’ Tales About Baby Gender
Sweet or Salty?
Do you find yourself developing a sweet tooth during pregnancy? Are candy and cakes your number one go-to? That’s a sign you’re having a girl. On the other hand, if you’re craving salty or savory foods (meats, pasta, nuts, potato chips, etc.), it means you’re having a boy.
This old wives’ tale likely comes from the gender notion that females are “sweet.”
Superstition True: “With my first two I craved salt… I had boys. This time around I wanted laffy taffy (sweets)… and its a girl,” one user posted in a forum.
Superstition False: “I had an aversion to sweets with my first and she’s a girl. This time around I also have one. I don’t think it is related to their gender. It’s probably the way our body processes the hormones,” a mother posted on a different forum.
Difficult Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is one of the most popular pregnancy symptoms that nearly every expecting mother experiences. However, if you’re suffering from extreme nausea and need to carry a vomit bag wherever you go, you’re having a girl. Some people believe that the sicker you are, the more likely it is that your baby is female. If your morning sickness is standard or if you rarely experience it, you’re having a boy.
Unlike most old wives’ tales, there is one study that may back up this belief. Researchers studied over a million Swedish children born from 1987 to 1995. They found that women who had to be treated in hospital for hyperemesis gravidarum (severe nausea) were more likely to give birth to a girl. This may be because the hormones developed by a female baby are more nausea-inducing.
Still, researcher Dr. Johan Askling warned mothers against using this old wives’ tale to predict the gender of their baby, noting that it isn’t much more accurate than tossing a coin.
Superstition True: “This one is a girl and I spent the majority of 10 weeks (weeks 8-18) in and out of the hospital with my longest stay being 2 weeks. Constant IV fluids and nutrition, PICC line for a month, TPN, liver strain, heart problems, and tons of meds (including steroids which I’ve never needed before). Definitely a huge difference for me with it being a girl,” a mother commented on a forum.
Superstition False: “…some of the myths weren’t true for me, like the one that says morning sickness is worse if you’re carrying a girl (in fact, I was hospitalized twice with my son, whereas my morning sickness with my daughter was routine),” Heather Morgan Shott wrote on Momtastic.com.
Partner Weight Gain
If you’re not the only one in the relationship packing on the pounds, that means you’re having a girl. If your partner loses weight or remains the same, you’re having a boy.
When a man gains weight alongside their pregnant partner, it’s known as “sympathy weight.” It may also be a sign of couvade syndrome — a proposed condition where the male partner shares some of their partner’s pregnancy symptoms.
Also keep in mind that when people share food and eat meals together, they may adopt similar eating habits. One research firm reported that, on average, fathers gain 14 pounds during their partner’s pregnancy. The most common reasons? Dining out more and increased snack availability.
Superstition True: “Oh wow, my man’s been complaining about gaining weight too, AND we’re having a girl,” commented one forum poster.
Superstition False: “We are having a boy and my husband is gaining weight. In fact he has gained a few more pounds than me,” another woman wrote on the same forum.
If it feels like your baby is running a marathon or doing gymnastics inside your belly, you’re having a boy. If fetal movement is low or moderate, you’re having a girl.
There is no evidence that this baby gender superstition is true. There are several factors that determine how active your baby is: Your weight, when you last ate, and if you’re standing up or lying down. How active you are also plays a large role. If you keep yourself busy all day, you’re less likely to experience fetal movements than a mother who sits down and rests frequently.
Superstition True: “I have one of each and this one is a boy and I think the boys move more, but it could be because of having an anterior placenta with dd [dear daughter],” confirmed one expecting mother.
Superstition False: “I’m having a girl and little lady kicks the crap out of my all day long. Sometimes I sit things on my belly so I can watch them move… I have a friend who is having a boy and he is totally lazy lol,” said one commenter.
If one moment you feel like the happiest person in the world and the next you’re angry or crying your heart out, that’s a sign you’re having a girl. If you’re calm throughout your pregnancy and your mood remains stable, you’re having a boy.
This baby gender superstition may have originated from the stereotype that females are moody while men are reasonable. Some people also believe that the hormones produced from a female baby are more likely to make a mother irritable.
Superstition True: “I know I’m having a girl (confirmed) and I say all the time that this chick has me all over the place emotionally… I do not remember being this emotional when carrying my boys,” a mother wrote on a forum.
Superstition False: “I am having a girl and I am not having any mood problems. Actually I am more balanced than ever. I wouldn’t chalk it up to the gender of the baby. It’s just hormones irrelevant of what you are going to have,” another mother commented.
The Wedding Ring Test
Tie your wedding ring to a piece of string or thread. Lay on your back while your partner dangles the wedding ring over your belly like a pendulum. If the string moves back and forth, you’re having a boy. If it moves in a circular motion, you’ll give birth to a baby girl.
A forum poll on Babycenter.com indicated that the test was accurate for 57 out of 88 people. Sixteen respondents said the string moved in both circular and back and forth motions.
Superstition True: “It worked for us, we are having a girl. The ladies I work with thought it would be fun to do it every Friday and every time we did the test it would go in circles. Not once did it go back and forth,” one mother shared on the poll forum thread.
Superstition False: “4 people have done the ring test on me and they all said girl. I’ve had 5 ultrasounds and it’s for sure a BOY!!!” another mother wrote, dispelling the myth.
Many countries and cultures use a different set of baby gender superstitions. One of the most common is the Chinese calendar predictor.
Add the month you conceived to the age you were when you conceived. For example, if you conceived in June when you were 28-years-old, add 28 and 6. If the result is an odd number, you can expect a boy. If it’s an even number, you’re having a girl. A simple way to do this test is to use Baby Center’s Chinese Gender Predictor Calculator.
Superstition True: “I did the Chinese predictors with my first two pregnancies and they were right,” one mother says in a forum.
Superstition False: “The Chinese gender calendar was also right for my daughter but wrong with my son,” said another commenter.
According to these old wives’ tales about baby gender, are you having a boy or a girl? Comment below! Share this article with other expecting mothers so they can have some fun, too!
P.S. You need to wait about 18 weeks for the gender-revealing ultrasound, but you can use a fetal doppler as early as 12 weeks! These amazing pocket-sized devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home.